Imperial College London

Dr James A Bull

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Chemistry

Research Fellow



+44 (0)20 7594 5811j.bull Website




501bMolecular Sciences Research HubWhite City Campus





Dr James A Bull is a Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Department of Chemistry.

Dr Bull’s research focuses on the development of efficient synthetic and catalytic methods to access novel structural motifs and heterocycles of interest in drug discovery.


*** PhD Studentships available***

We are are recruiting for the following AstraZeneca sponsored PhD position, for 2021 entry:

Dual Catalytic C–H Alkylation: An automated approach to reaction discovery in collaboration with AstraZeneca, Prof Alan Spivey and Dr Becky Greenaway.  Full funding at UK home student levels.

We are offering additional funded projects through the REact CDT for Oct 2021:

  • A Heterocycle Vending Machine
  • Quantitative Ligand Parametrisation for Catalyst Design and Prediction for Ullmann Arylation by a Combined Experimental and Computational Approach

For group news, see: @jamesabull

Biographical details

James Bull graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2001 with a First Class Honours MSci degree in Natural Sciences, Chemistry and the Raphael Prize for Organic Chemistry. He then spent a year working at GlaxoSmithKline Stevenage as a Research Scientist in the Medicinal Chemistry Department.

He returned to Cambridge in 2003 to undertake PhD research with Professor Steven V Ley. He completed the total synthesis of bisoxazole antifungal natural product bengazole A and analogues.

In 2007 he joined the group of Professor André B. Charette as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Université de Montréal, Canada. Here he developed an intramolecular Simmons-Smith cyclopropanation reaction.

In 2009 he began independent research at Imperial College London as a Ramsay Memorial Research Fellow (2009-2011), working in the laboratories of Professor Alan Armstrong. From 2011 to 2015 Dr Bull held an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship on "Novel strategies to access chiral heterocycles as potential lead compounds in drug discovery". In January 2016 Dr Bull started a Royal Society University Research Fellowship.



Boddy A, Bull J, 2021, Stereoselective synthesis and applications of spirocyclic oxindoles, Organic Chemistry Frontiers, Vol:8, ISSN:2052-4110, Pages:1026-1084

Tota A, Colella M, Carlucci C, et al., 2021, N−N Bond Formation Using an Iodonitrene as an Umpolung of Ammonia: Straightforward and Chemoselective Synthesis of Hydrazinium Salts, Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis, Vol:363, ISSN:1615-4150, Pages:194-199

Greed S, Briggs E, Idiris F, et al., 2020, Synthesis of highly enantioenriched sulfonimidoyl fluorides and sulfonimidamides by stereospecific SuFEx reaction, Chemistry: a European Journal, Vol:26, ISSN:0947-6539, Pages:12533-12538

Higham J, Bull JA, 2020, Transient imine directing groups for the C–H functionalisation of aldehydes, ketones and amines: an update 2018-2020, Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, Vol:18, ISSN:1477-0520, Pages:7291-7315

Green SP, Wheelhouse KM, Payne AD, et al., 2020, On the Use of Differential Scanning Calorimetry for Thermal Hazard Assessment of New Chemistry: Avoiding Explosive Mistakes, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Vol:59, ISSN:1433-7851, Pages:15798-15802

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